Heinrich Koeppler

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Heinrich Köppler at the CDU federal party conference in 1978

Heinrich Köppler (born November 26, 1925 in Hattenheim , † April 20, 1980 in Düsseldorf ) was a German lawyer and politician ( CDU ).

Life and work

Heinrich Köppler was born as the son of a chief magistrate in Hattenheim (today in Eltville / Rheingau ). After attending elementary school and secondary school, he went to high schools in Mainz and Wiesbaden , passed the Abitur in 1943 and then embarked on a career as a professional soldier. As such, he took part in World War II , was deployed on the Eastern Front and promoted to lieutenant in early 1945. He was most recently taken prisoner by the US, from which he was released in the summer of 1945.

Köppler studied law at the universities in Erlangen and Mainz from 1945 to 1948 . He then worked briefly as a youth work advisor for the US military government in Hesse . In early 1949 he worked as an assistant to the Economic Council of the United Economic Area . He then worked until 1950 as personal advisor to the President of the Bundestag Erich Köhler . In 1950 he passed the first state examination and in 1953 the second state examination.

From 1946 onwards, Köppler was involved in the Catholic youth movement. From 1952 to 1956 he was federal leader of the Federation of German Catholic Youth and from 1954 to 1955 chairman of the German Federal Youth Association . From 1956 to 1965 he acted as general secretary of the Central Committee of German Catholics , from 1965 as head of the Foreign Office of the Central Committee and from 1968 until his death as Vice President of the Central Committee.

In 1963 he was elected chairman of the Working Group for Development Aid (AGEH) to succeed the Spiritaner father Paul Koppelberg .

Party and MP

Federal party conference in 1971 in Düsseldorf

Heinrich Köppler had been a member of the CDU since 1946. From 1969 to 1980 he was state chairman of the CDU Rhineland , from 1971 to 1980 chairman of the presidium of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia and from 1973 to 1980 deputy chairman of the CDU at federal level.

From 1965 until his resignation on August 8, 1970, he was a member of the German Bundestag and from 1969 to 1970 Parliamentary Managing Director of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group . He was always drawn into the Bundestag via the state list of North Rhine-Westphalia .

From 1970 to 1980 he was a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament and at the same time chairman of the CDU parliamentary group.

Public offices

On April 19, 1968 he was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior in the Federal Government led by Federal Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger . After the 1969 federal election , he left office on October 22, 1969. In 1970 and 1975 he was the top CDU candidate in the respective state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia , but could not prevail against incumbent Heinz Kühn with his claim to become Prime Minister , although the CDU was the strongest force in both elections.

In 1980 he was again the CDU top candidate for the NRW state election. However, he died unexpectedly on April 20, 1980 three weeks before the election date (May 11, 1980) of two sudden heart attacks, which he suffered within only 17 days. The already affixed election posters in the street area with his photo were given a mourning imprint for a short time. He was laid to rest in the cemetery in Wachtberg - Niederbachem south of Bonn. The top candidate took over instead of his Kurt Biedenkopf , who also succeeded him as opposition leader in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia after losing the state election.


See also


  • Stefan Marx: Heinrich Köppler. Politics out of Christian responsibility. Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2006. ISBN 978-3-7700-1902-1 (only biography with scientific claim)
  • Munzinger : Internationales Biographisches Archiv 31/1980 from July 21, 1980

Web links

Commons : Heinrich Köppler  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bastian Hein: The West Germans and the Third World: Development Policy and Development Services between Reform and Revolt 1959–1974 , Oldenbourg Verlag 2006, page 119
  2. Announcement of awards of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Federal Gazette . Vol. 30, No. 219, November 21, 1978.